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05-25-2010, 04:28 PM   #1
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EMS mail from Japan: Still got taxed :(

Got a lens form Matsuyiastore (ebay) and used EMS (USPS) and USPS left a note on my indoor to get the package from the post office (I was in the house they didn't ring the bell). When I went to the post office they charged me taxes and handling fee of ~$50.

I started a thread on fedex charging me, and was suggested EMS would not. In my case it didn't work

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/general-talk/101334-dang-ive-got-taxed-lens-i-got-italy.html

05-25-2010, 05:34 PM   #2
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You always get dinged for GST/HST/PST and duty, if applicable, with any of the delivery carriers. If you don't count yourself lucky. The CanadaPost handling fees for brokerage are substantially lower than the couriers. You likely would have got zapped for $75-80 with one of them.
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05-25-2010, 10:12 PM   #3
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I've never had this happen with lenses shipped into the US by USPS/affiliates. Odd.
06-07-2010, 12:54 AM   #4
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pcarfan, what lens was it and how much did you pay for it? I can't exactly recall if I got taxed or paid extra for import duties whenever I bought something from overseas. if not, I only paid $20 which is acceptable for me. but still sketchy since most often I dont pay. I also buy from the U.S. via USPS shipping. sometimes they charge me and most times not. but again, it only cost me around $20. regular mail which takes about 2-3 weeks are free of import duties from my experience. the only courier that charge me above $30 bucks is UPS which I'm trying to avoid as much as possible.

with regards to shipping, I believe the Canadian Customs is becoming increasingly sloppy recently in terms of handling. we could credit this to the increase security for smuggled goods and illegal drugs, but this doesn't excuse them for being sloppy. I'm not paying them for improts nor support them with my annual tax payments just to damage my orders. these guys are more deserving to be laid off rather than teachers.

06-07-2010, 07:05 AM   #5
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It was only $50 dollars for a lens costing over $1.5k.
06-07-2010, 08:54 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by pcarfan Quote
It was only $50 dollars for a lens costing over $1.5k.
Then why are you complaining?
You could have been charged $200 even if duty free.
06-07-2010, 09:23 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by nosnoop Quote
Then why are you complaining?
You could have been charged $200 even if duty free.
Not complaimng, more like FYI.......what do you mean by being charged $200 even if duty free?...again this question is posed with a genuine interest in knowing more, it is in no way meant to be a confrontational question.
06-07-2010, 09:40 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by pcarfan Quote
Not complaimng, more like FYI.......what do you mean by being charged $200 even if duty free?...again this question is posed with a genuine interest in knowing more, it is in no way meant to be a confrontational question.
pcarfan, usually you pay a certain percentage of tax for the price of the item that you bought outside of the U.S. private couriers such as DHL, UPS and FEDEX could charge you higher fees for the extra trouble. they usually charge around 12% or 15%, UPS being the worse that could charge you more than that with damages in handling as an added bonus, free of charge.

from what I see, EMS charged you only around 4% worth of the item, which isn't bad as compared with other couriers. locally or national, USPS in the U.S. would be the best alternative, CANADA post in Canada, while EMS for international.

06-07-2010, 09:47 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by pcarfan Quote
Not complaimng, more like FYI.......what do you mean by being charged $200 even if duty free?...again this question is posed with a genuine interest in knowing more, it is in no way meant to be a confrontational question.
Confrontational? Sorry if I come across that way.

I saw davef's reply to your post talking about import tax to Canada, and then now I realize that you are in the States So, no, my calculation won't apply to you.

One way of avoiding tax is marking it as a gift, and marking the value as very low. But you would not be able to buy full insurance against lost shipment, and potential losing a lot more than the money saved, so I won't recommend it.
06-07-2010, 10:18 AM   #10
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mind you that these are items that are bought outside of the States. but items that are charged additional aren't always clear. item disclosure/non-disclosure, item type, item value, with or without insurance, type of shipping, etc... does not always determine whether you will pay extra or not. couriers and customs are not pretty clear on everything.
06-07-2010, 01:17 PM   #11
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@pcarfan...

As noted in the above, but not explicitly stated, you were importing the lens into the U.S. from Japan. Here are the basic rules about importing:
  • The importer always pays the duty
  • Duty is due at the border
  • The goods will be held until the duty is paid
  • The amount of duty is determined by statute and is based on the value (usually sale price) and the export country
  • Certain shippers act as customs brokers (they handle the duty for you) for trans-border shipments and charge extra for that service even if no duty is assessed. UPS is famous for this.
  • The standard duty on camera lenses is 2.3% or free (depending on treaty) for U.S. trade partners and 45% for less favored nations
  • The standard duty on cameras is free for U.S. trade partners and 20% for less favored nations
  • There is a personal waiver of $200 value per day
  • Gifts are liable to duty after a $100 waiver
  • The FAQ item for mailed duty is HERE
  • You can look up the duty amounts HERE. Camera lenses are HTS code 9002.11.90.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 06-07-2010 at 01:27 PM.
06-07-2010, 03:13 PM   #12
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Steve,

Wow! that is most certainly a thorough reply. Thanks!
06-13-2010, 05:18 PM   #13
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I got a $1500 lens from a Polish ebayer with no duty assessed, via EMS. I didn't see an explanation for the country abbreviations in steve's link, but I suppose the "P" in the special:free category is Poland?
06-13-2010, 05:33 PM   #14
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Well, it's not camera related, but a little while ago I ordered some stuff from hlj.com, used EMS, and I didn't get charged anything for it. Just picked it up from the post office. However, in the past, I have paid fees, but it's more hit and miss. I really, really, like it when it's a miss on a $200 toy.
06-13-2010, 08:59 PM   #15
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And we wonder why people complain when sellers won't ship out of country/region.
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